Receiving over 50% of the public votes, actor, model, producer and activist Ian was heralded as the greenest international media luminary for 2012 at a glittering green gala dinner.
Star of the Vampire Diaries and winner of an Emmy, Screen Actors Guild Award, and other accolades as a cast member of the hit show Lost, Ian is also known as a prolific environmental campaigner. He set up the non-profit Ian Somerhalder Foundation in 2010, which, among other activities, aims to support renewable energy projects, raise awareness of the impacts of deforestation, and to engage young people in environmental issues.
In his video acceptance speech, Ian thanked the public for their support and appealed to all businesses and individuals to act responsibly and proactively in protecting the planet and its biodiversity. In his own words, “I am so thankful to receive this award, and I just want to say thank you so much to the International Green Awards for providing me with this tremendous opportunity, because being surrounded by your powerful energy only fuels my ongoing determination to collaborate, pioneer, and advocate the truest essence of sustainability on our planet”.
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Ian Somerhalder is an Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and has helped by promoting World Environment Day– the biggest global day dedicated to positive action on the environment – which is organized every year by UNEP on 5 June. This year Ian joined fellow Goodwill Ambassdors Don Cheadle and Rahul Bose along with last year’s Most Responsible Celebrity award winner Gisele Bundchen to film video spots to advertise World Environment Day across the globe encouraging people to mobilize their efforts, register their activities and set a record for clean-up efforts on a global scale. Ian’s work with the UNEP has included a video call-to-arms for people to participate in environmental activity.
“We congratulate Ian Somerhalder on winning this prestigious award, and on his extensive environmental work,” said UNEP Spokesperson Nick Nuttall, who accepted the prize on Ian’s behalf at the ceremony in London.
“His work to promote the cause of the environment – as well as that of the other green-minded celebrities shortlisted for this award – can only increase global awareness of the need to live more sustainably, and to bring about an inclusive, low carbon green economy, where more people across the world have a fairer share of the planet’s resources,” he added.
Ian Somerhalder set up the ‘IS Foundation’ with the aim to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures. The IS Foundation focuses on habitat, energy and animals, as seeks to make connections to strengthen the push for positive environmental change.
Ian is also involved with a start-up called Go Green Mobile Power, which makes mobile solar, wind and bio-diesel generators and hopes to provide off-grid power for everything from the film industry to disaster relief overseas. He is also involved with the group New Leash On Life, which takes in stray dogs and trains them to be service dogs. One of his latest green ideas is to make the Vampire Diaries set more eco-friendly.
Ian has said of his environmental work “I don’t know how to do anything else other than be an actor. If I wasn’t in this, I would be in alternative energy and conservation”.